Sugar coating and small talk

27 Apr

I don’t like when people sugar coat bad news.  It is stupid, and in fact, I believe it’s just cruel. Yes, cruel.  I know bad news sucks, that is why it’s BAD news; no amount of covering and twisting words is going to change the actual shit that is about to be delivered.

Why do we do it?

Because humans don’t take bad news well. Again, I refer you to the distinct adjective used to describe this particular type of news. If we took it well, it would be called something else, like “ambivalent news” or “okay news.”

Let’s take the fantastically gross phrase, “passed away” to describe a death.  What does using these words do exactly? Does it make the person less dead? No? Well then, what has the person passed? Their lifetime, aka dead.

Why does death make us so uncomfortable that we have to come up with crap ways to describe it? How is dead not sufficient? Does it hurt us less when someone says, “Grandpa passed away” vs. “Grandpa died”? No, it doesn’t. Dead is dead, so let’s just use the word, okay?

Moving on.

I despise small talk. Really, I do. As mentioned before, I don’t like talking about the weather, I don’t much care how your mom is or really how you are.  I may come off as rude, but if your mom is sick or you are puny, I will ask because I am a good friend.  If I pass you in the hall or at the supermarket as an acquaintance, I am not going to ask because I don’t want to start a superficial, bullshit conversation about something that affects me in no way.

I don’t understand why when someone asks me how I am and I tell them, “Awful” they are surprised. They asked, I answered honestly. Should I not answer honestly? Why am I only supposed to answer, “Fine” or “Well” and why am I expected to ask them the same question, even if I don’t much care how they are? Does small talk make us more civilized? I don’t think so. Is small talk serving any function other than creating meaningless conversation? No? Then why do it? How come a simple, “Hi” or wave in passing isn’t good enough??? Please someone tell me, because clearly I am socially retarded.


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